What Size Fishing Hook to Use?

A fishing hook is the most important piece of fishing equipment after a fishing rod and fishing line. Fishing hooks come in many different sizes and shapes, making the search for the right fish hook size a challenge for newbie anglers. 

So, what size fishing hook to use? Fishing hooks come in different styles and sizes. They are designed to catch anything from a tiny minnow to a giant swordfish. Fishing hook sizes are marked by a number from the smallest (size 32) to the largest (size 27/0). For hooks from 32 to 1, the larger the number, the smaller the hook size. 

Keep reading to learn about different fishing hook sizes and how to choose the right hook depending on the type of fish you’re targeting. 

Is Fishing Hook Size Important When Fishing?

Size is the most important trait of a fishing hook. If a fishing hook is too big, a smaller fish won’t be able to get it inside its mouth and become hooked on the line. Anglers using bigger hooks than necessary often feel the fish striking but end up pulling a hook without fish or bait.

If a fishing hook is too small, a fish may swallow it entirely. Deep hooking is a painful and traumatic experience for the fish. It also lowers the success of catching and releasing the fish safely.

Newbie anglers should start with pre-packaged hooks, which consist of different fishing hook types and sizes. Don’t forget to pack a hook remover into your tackle box to help with hard-to-remove fishing hooks. 

Fishing Hook Sizes 

Fishing Hook Sizes 

Choosing the right fishing hook size seems simple. Anglers need to look for a hook size chart and pick the hook size for their selected species. Unfortunately, finding the right hook size is never this easy!

Instead of choosing the hook for the type of fish you want to catch, you need to work your way through a size chart and countless measurements to find what size hook to use. 

The size of the hook is determined by the gap between the shaft of the hook and the shank and the length of the shaft. Fishing hook sizes are numbered and start in the middle, going outward. On the left side size, and on the right side are the aughts or oughts. 

The smallest hook size is 32. The second smallest is size 31, then 30, 29, all the way up to size 1. After size 1, the measuring system switches from sizes to aughts (sometimes called oughts). 

From here, the next size is 1/0 (pronounced as one aught), then 2/0 (two aughts), 3/0 (three aughts), and so on to 27/0 (twenty-seven aughts). The largest 27/0 hook is big enough to catch literal sea monsters. 

Smaller-sized hooks, from size 32 to size 1, are mainly used for freshwater fishing. On the other hand, larger hooks starting at 1/0 and going all the way to 27/0 are designed for targeting saltwater fish species. 

Keep in mind that there is no standardized hook size. The hook’s actual size varies a lot depending on the brand. 

For example, a 1/0 Eagle Claw jig hook will probably be smaller than a 1/0 Mustard jig hook, but bigger than the same hook manufactured by Gamakatsu.

How Do You Know What Size Fishing Hook to Use?

Knowing how to read a fish hook size is essential for a productive fishing trip. Finding the right hook size comes down to measuring the gap or the distance between the shank and the hook’s shaft. The bigger the gap, the larger the hook’s size. 

To determine what size hook to use, consider the following factors:

What Type of Fishing You’re Doing? 

The size of the hook you’ll use depends on the type of fishing you’re doing. For example, fly fishing with a too-big hook can throw off your cast and affect your fishing technique. 

What Type of Fish You’re Trying to Catch?

The type of fish you’re targeting is one of the most important factors when choosing the fishing hook size. Using a too-big fishing hook is unlikely to lead to a catch. On the other hand, a smaller hook can become lodged deep in a fish’s esophagus. 

Where Are You Fishing?

The clarity of the water, the speed of the current, and the amount of debris found in the water also play a part when choosing the right size fishing hook. Using a too-small hook in murky water or in a strong current may remain unnoticed by the passing fish. 

What Size Hooks for Bass Fishing?

Bass fishing hook size ranges from 1 to 1/0 and 2/0. But, you can use smaller or larger hooks when targeting bass, depending on the type of lure you’re using and the presentation. 

The smaller hooks are ideal for 6 inches long worms, while larger hooks are better for 8 inches long worms. If you’re targeting big largemouth bass, use hook sizes between 2/0 and 6/0. 

What Size Hook Is Bigger 8 or 10?

Simply put, hook size 10 is bigger than hook size 8. When it comes to hooking sizes, the bigger the number, the smaller the size of the hook is. 

But if you’re asking what size hook is bigger, 8/0 or 10/0, the answer is 10/0.


Fishing hooks come in many different sizes, styles, and types. Each hook has its traits and is designed to catch a specific fish species in certain water conditions, using a specific fishing technique. 

Catching a fish without a hook is very difficult, so spend some time looking at different sizes of fishing hooks before choosing the right one for you. When selecting the proper size hook, consider the type of fish you’re planning to catch, the fishing method, and the type of water you’re going to fish in.